15 ‘MUST-DOs’ in Koh Samui

Koh Samui – a hive of activity – has too many choices to offer. From snorkeling through the vivid sub-aquatic life to relaxing at the exquisite spas, and from elephant trekking to partying hard on the beaches – the list of best things to do in Koh Samui seems endless.

Here is a hand-picked list of the best things to do in Koh Samui. Scroll down patiently. There is something for travelers of all tastes and interests.

1. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Koh Samui

Tourists try snorkeling that is one of the best things to do in Koh Samui

Gliding through the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, viewing the exotic marine & coral life, and riding the speedboats before diving in the clear waters offer aquatic freedom in the wondrous underwater world like no other activity. This makes snorkeling and scuba diving the best things to do in Koh Samui.

Where to try: Snorkeling tours to Koh Tan, Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Phangan, and Angthong National Marine Park are offered from Koh Samui. Clear waters off the Chaweng beach and the Coral Cove are best suited for scuba diving.

An adventurer tries kitesurfing on Koh Samui island

Kitesurfing, or kiteboarding as it is more commonly known, is one of the most adventurous things to do in Koh Samui. The kitesurfing spots in Koh Samui offer flat and shallow waters to surf safely. The absence of jellyfish, rocks, waves, jet skis, and speed boats make the conditions just ideal for this sport.

Where to try: Hua Thanon and Nathon

3. Sea Kayaking

A woman tries sea kayaking in Koh Samui

Kayaking is one of the best things to do in Koh Samui for couples, solo travelers, friends, and families. Among the most popular water sports in Koh Samui, kayaking offers a chance to explore the crystal clear waters, surrounding islands, secluded beaches, and overhanging coves.

Where to try: A number of Kayaking tours are offered from Koh Samui. But the kayaking tours to Angthong National Marine Park, Koh Mudsum, and Koh Tan are most popular.

A view of the Emerald Green Lagoon at the Angthong Marine National Park

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4. Swimming at Namuang Waterfalls

The beautiful natural cool at the Nu Muang Waterfall

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Koh Samui is blessed with some beautiful waterfalls. These include the Wanorn Waterfall near Lipa Noi and Hin Lad Waterfall near Nathon. But the two Namuang waterfalls are most famous. Swimming at the cool and fresh waters of the natural pools of the Namuang waterfalls is one of the most relaxing things to do in Koh Samui – for couples, solo travelers, and even families.

5. Elephant Trekking

Tourists go on elephants trekking in the rain

Elephant – a symbol of strength and royalty – is the national animal of Thailand. The island of Koh Samui has a vast stretch of tropical forest in its centre. A journey through the forest on an elephant back takes you through exotic flora & fauna, refreshing waterfalls, and verdant forests.

6. Off Roading to a mountain top

Tourists take a jeep safari in Koh Samui

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There are many options to cover the major tourist attractions in Koh Samui. Of these, motorcycle tours and jeep safaris are most popular. The Offroad 4WD Jeep Safari takes you through both popular and lesser known places of the island. From the beachside Grandmother & Grandfather Rocks to the mountaintop viewpoints, the jeep safari covers it all.

7. Relaxing at a spa

Tourists relaxing at a spa center in Koh Samui

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Taking spa treatments and foot/ full-body massages are the best things to do in Koh Samui when it rains. They are relaxing and enjoyable at the same time. Yes, there are stand alone spas all over the island. But the spa resorts in Koh Samui offer the best spa and massage services.

8. Attending a crocodile show

A performer poses with his head inside the mouth of a crocodile in Koh Samui

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Attending a crocodile show is among the unique things to do in Koh Samui. The Crocodile Farm is home to Siamese crocodiles, caimans, saltwater crocodiles, snakes, lizards, monkeys, and more. Watch the performers put their hands and face right into the mouth of the crocodiles or play with the fangs of the snakes.

Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm

Show timings: 12 pm – 1 pm, 2 pm – 3 pm, 4 pm – 5 pm (Crocodile Show) | 1 pm – 2 pm, 3 pm – 4 pm, 5 pm – 6 pm (Snake Show)

9. Partying at the beaches, pubs, and bars

A rave party going on at the Ark Bar

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The people of Koh Samui sure know how to party. The Koh Samui nightlife has been attracting a young crowd of revellers on the white sandy beaches, pubs, bars, and more. Attending the Full Moon party at the nearby Koh Phangan; Black Moon & Half Moon parties on Koh Samui; and dancing all night at the famous pubs of the island are the best things to do in Koh Samui at night.

10. Enjoying the Ladyboy Cabaret Shows

A ladyboy in glittering clothes at one of the prominent Cabarets of Koh Samui

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And the nightlife in Koh Samui is not just limited to parties. The ladyboy cabaret shows may not be appropriate for people of all ages. But the erotic dance performances by the lovely ladyboys in shining clothes have been attracting a lot of audience. For the same reason, attending the Paris Follies Cabaret is one of the best things to do in Chaweng district of Koh Samui.

11. Dining at the exotic beaches

The Dining On The Rock restaurant at Big Buddha

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Like any other destination, Koh Samui too has some of the finest restaurants. And the beachfront dining experiences add to the charm of these restaurants.

Where to dine: Beachfront Club at Fisherman Village in Bophut, Dining On The Rocksat Big Buddha, Treetops and 9Gems Lounge Restaurant in Chaweng, and Kob ThaiRestaurant in Lamai

12. Shopping at the night markets

Tourists and locals shopping at the Lamai Night Walking Street

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Shopping in Koh Samui goes beyond the chic malls. Yes, the Central Festival Mall in Chaweng and other malls in Koh Samui are of the highest standards. But the Lamai Night Walking Street and Chaweng Night Market make shopping in Koh Samui a unique experience.

13. Taking a temple tour

The Smiling Buddha statue at Wat Plai that is one of the popular tourist attractions in Koh Samui

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Taking a temple tour of the Buddhist temples and shrines is one of the religious things to do in Koh Samui. These beautiful tourist attractions in Koh Samui are known for their beauty and their religious significance for the Buddhists.

14. Visiting the mummified monk

The entrance to the Wat Khunaram that houses a mummified monk

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Unlike the other temples, Wat Khunaram is famous for the mummified monk that is kept on display here. The mummified body of Loung Pordaeng is kept in a glass casket in the temple. Visiting the mummified monk is a unique experience offered at this tourist attraction of Koh Samui.

15. Gokarting at Chaweng

Youngsters try gokarting in Koh Samui

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Go karting is among the thrilling things to do in Chaweng, especially if you like speed and thrill. The place is ideal for teenagers and youngsters. However, there is no upper age limit for the sport.

Where to try: Easykart at Chaweng Lake

Timings: 10 am – 1 am

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Article credit: Kusha Walia

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